Artist Statement

The Batavia is part of a suite of works about the shipwreck made for an exhibition at Hugo Michell Gallery in Adelaide, which wasn’t able open due to lockdown. About the work, Richard shares: “to avoid overcrowding the rescuing ship, a trial was held on the islands and the worst offenders had their hands cut off and were executed by hanging…two men with minor roles in the massacre were left on the mainland near Geraldton (likely the first Europeans to live in Australia)….definitely an interesting time to be looking at a brutal story in parallel with a pandemic some 400 years later and into the extent some people go to in order to survive…..thinking about the impact of great leadership and the fall out with the alternate ….oil on canvas ….”